Man charged in Florida school massacre due for court hearing

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla (AP) — A status hearing is set for Nikolas Cruz in the Florida school massacre that killed 17 people last year.

The hearing yesterday is likely to be mainly procedural in nature, with many months to go before the case gets close to trial. A tentative trial date has not yet been set.

The presiding judge has been closely monitoring the state’s release of evidence to the defence and the pace of Cruz attorney interviews of dozens of potential trial witnesses.

The 20-year-old Cruz faces first-degree murder and attempted murder charges in the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

His attorneys have said he will plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Nikolas Cruz. – AP